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The Amazing Winchester Model 74. What a rifle!


Hi. This is Joel Persinger. I’m the Gun
Guy. Thank you very much for watching my
videos. I really, really do appreciate it. I’ve got a terrific gun today to show you
that’s on loan to me. This is a Winchester Model 74. I don’t get to see
them very often. They are really, really cool and they’re actually a little piece
of history. In fact, they have quite a bit of history to them that a lot of people
that own them don’t really realize. For one thing, just to tell you a little bit
about the gun, they are a different type of design. These kinds of guns
were very popular in the 30s and 40s and on into the 50s, when you
saw 22s that had heavier stocks. They were just heavier guns in generall. The barrels
were a lot longer. That was back before optics and scopes
and anything like that was popular. People were shooting with iron sights.
Partially because the longer barrel allowed a longer sight radius the gun
were a little bit more accurate. I think at the time, the belief was, the
longer the barrel the more accurate the gun. I’m not so sure that’s always the
case. Nevertheless, that was the the wisdom at the time. So, if you look at
these you would find that when people purchase them, if you had two or three
models of rifles against the wall and the ones… there were somewhat long barrels
and somewhat short… that people would reach for the long barrel ones all the
time, because they just felt that they would be more accurate. Even in the
case of twenty-twos like this, you find that these older guns, by in large,
they’ve got long barrels like this one does. There’s some other design elements
that really make this gun cool as far as I’m concerned. I really like the kind of
neat safety, which is on top of the action, rather than down where we would
normally find the safety on the Tang or maybe down by the trigger guard or
something like that. It’s an unusual place to put a safety and it’s really
cool as a result. You know… eclectic things like that can be neat where
firearms are concerned. There’s also some other interesting things associated with
the history of this gun. This particular one was made in 1947, but
these guns were made for a while. There were several
different models of them and sizes of them and so on. They are a heavy gun. The barrel is heavy. They are super
accurate and they’re a joy to shoot in just about every respect. A great number
of these guns were shipped off to the British during World War II as part of
the “Lend-Lease Program.” We were trying to help the British be properly armed to
fight the Nazis. These guns were then used for that purpose or at least they
were planned to be used for that purpose. They were fitted with a suppressor and
with Parker-Hale telescoping sites and issued two auxiliary units with the
thought that, if the Nazis were successful at invading Britain or one
of the parts of the British empire, these could be used by resistance forces
as sniper tools to knock down a Nazi here and there or knock down
an officer. Or, for that matter, just be used as a light gun to feed these
resistance troops, if they happen to be in an area where food was scarce. As far
as I know, they were never put to any of those uses. Still, it is interesting that
the Winchester Model 74 was actually a military arm at one point. You just don’t
think about .22s filling that bill. Another fascinating thing about them,
that I learned just doing some research about them, is that… you know… I think of
these guns as 1940s; 1930s; maybe early
1950s semi-automatic .22s. They’re designed very differently than
today’s guns. They’re a lot of fun to shoot, because there a piece of history you’ve got in
your hand. But, what I didn’t realize was that the design of these guns came from
1901. As you can see from this schematic and this little patent application, I
believe is what we found, these guns were originally designed by a couple of
fellows name T.G. Bennett and T.C. Johnson back in 1901. These things have a very
storied and colorful history to them . That makes them
really a joy to shoot. In any case, speaking of shooting them, I did take it up to the Rainbow Range and
give it a little try on the shooting gallery. I’ve had the joy of shooting this rifle
as well as rifles like it many. many times. This one is on loan to me. They
are inherently accurate and they are really extraordinarily well made 22
long rifle semi-automatic rifles. I like them because I like the tube feed;
I like the unusual quirky safety on the top. But mostly, I just like accurate rifles. I like rifles that are inherently accurate. These fall into
that category. To show you what I mean… we’ve got a bunch of targets out
there.. little bitty steel targets. Let’s see how many we can knock down without
missing. Here we go (bang) there’s one. (bang, bang, bang, bang, bang) …and the ball at the end. (bang) Wow! As I said, really accurate little
rifle. They are a lot of fun to shoot. I just like the fact that they’re accurate.
It’s also nice to have a piece of history in your hand. This particular
rifle is quite old. if you happen to run into one of these
and it’s in good shape, I can tell you it’s probably worth every time you would
pay for it. It’s just a magnificent little 22 rifle. Anyway, that’s it from the Rainbow Range.
I’m going to shoot it a little bit more. (bang, bang, bang) Thank you very much for watching my
videos. I really, deeply appreciate it. I hope you enjoy them as much as we
enjoy making them. Please “like”; “subscribe.” If you subscribe, we’ll let you
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look at the previous ones. We’ve done over a hundred videos in the last year
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things. You can check those out. You might find those interesting. If you
like gun videos and you like guns and you like shooting and you’re not a member of
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because you happen to live in a free state doesn’t mean this stuff isn’t
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to defend yourself, whether you’re wearing it because you’ve got a
concealed weapons permit or you live in a Constitutional Carry state, or
you’ve got the gun at home for self-defense… if you ever use it, you’re probably going to have to defend
yourself in court. You’re going to get sued and you might get arrested and
prosecuted. That’s just the way our kooky system works. That means you need to have some legal
backup in place. Unless you are very, very wealthy and you can defend yourself
you’re going to want to have a system and a company behind you. I’ve
investigated a lot of them and the one I came down to using was Second Call
Defense. There’s a whole lot of reasons why. I
can’t get into them. It would be a video on its own. I do have a video about that.
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because the last thing you want to do is have to defend yourself and then lose
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too. We can’t start all over again. Thank you
again, very much, for watching my videos. (cough) Excuse me. Have a wonderful week and
please be safe.

45 thoughts on “The Amazing Winchester Model 74. What a rifle!

  1. The tube feed release is in the butt stock, when it is released and withdrawn back out of the stock rounds are feed into the right side of the stock through a window in the stock. When the rounds are in the stock the tube is closed and latched. Almost like an under the barrel tube fed 22 only from the other end. I can't remember how many rounds it will hold but is more than ten. Check out the vid and watch closely to view the stock and butt end and you can see what I have described.

  2. I have one made in 1941 that I believe was issued to civilians and troops in the Aleutians when the Japanese invaded the islands off the coast of Alaska it was easier to sneak around with a .22 than a 30-06 Garand or Springfield

  3. I had one in 22 short that burned up in a house fire along with about 30 other guns, many of which are irreplacable but I loved the old 74 so much that I bought another one in 22 short and shoot it often.

  4. my dad just gave me his model 74.i learned to shoot on that rifle when i was a child.im 60 now.so proud to have it.22lr made in 1952.it is almost flawless.lived in a closet all these years. thank god im in the carolinas so i can go out and enjoy it

  5. I got mine, passed down from a cousin, a  late 40s to early 50s model; I'm an early 40s model myself.  In some ways, it was a difficult gun, a real beast size-wise compared to later auto loaders, but it did have its charm.  Not charming was a trigger pull that was long and rough and a propensity to collect dirt in its innards like no gun I've ever had since.  I also found that unloading it by dumping the rounds out of the stock and then working the bolt to eject whatever was in the chamber could leave a live one in the "ready" position that would be cycled into the chamber the next time you worked the bolt with the magazine tube in place.  I knew this and never had an inadvertent discharge, but hopefully, the person who bought it (and anyone with a 74 reading this) will not shoot a hole through something not intended to be shot.

  6. I picked up a 74 in 22 short at a gun show in 65. Traded it off for something I had to have in 72. Saw it again at a gun show in 76. This was back when I had a memory plus the serial number was a palindrome which helped. The gun had moved from Missouri to Pennsylvania to Texas.

  7. I got rid of mine. This is the least safe .22 Winchester ever made. If anything (like oil) gets on the bolt, it will blow it all over your face when you fire a round. Always use eye protection! and carry a glasses cleaning kit if you shoot a Winchester model 74.

  8. I have Two of these amazing Lil' Rifles and they are Truly Very Accurate. They are quite a unique weapon. ! of these was my Dad's and then I had one also. There is a very small difference in the 2 of them in the "Stocks" is all.

  9. I have always heard do not EVER cock the bolt with the safety in the ON position, it will cause all kinds of bad, hard to fix things, to go wrong !

  10. Just was given a model 74 from 1940 (i checked the serial date on the manufacturers site) over Thanksgiving. I want to clean it but don't know how, can you make a full tutorial on how to achieve this so I can keep this rifle in great shape?

  11. i just aquired a 74 today for xmas,i found out its a 1941 and it still shoots ,it has minor rust ,searching now how to properly clean and oil.great video thanks

  12. Be careful of that safety. Only engage when cocked. It is easy to mess up an internal spring if engaged when not cocked. I found one in a local shop a month or so ago, not as nice as yours but for $200 I had to buy it.

    It's good to see videos about somewhat rare firearms, I've subscribed to your channel.

  13. My father used to do trick shots with a model 74 back in his teenage years in the late '50s and early 60s for extra money. He could shoot anything thrown in the air, dimes, nickels, and marbles. One of the shots he did was to take a marble that would just sit in the mouth of a Coca Cola bottle and he would shatter the marble with one shot and drop it in the coke bottle without damaging the bottle. I want to say he did that at 25 yards. He was still an amazing shot in his late 40s until his eyes started giving him trouble. My papaw and uncles always told me how good he could shoot and not just with a 22 rifle. His was stolen back in the late 70s but I found one back in 2008 and had it completely restored and gave it to him as a present that same year. It really made him happy to see that rifle.

  14. Good video. This is my favorite old Winchester semi. I like it better than the 63. Nobody made rifles like Winchester and I doubt they ever will again. The early ones have a 24 inch barrel, the stock isn’t relieved at the cocking handle, and its front end is more squared off. The 22 short only model will cycle CBs and all you’ll hear is the bolt slapping. There were a few late 22 inch guns with scope slots. Those, and the early ones with Winchester 88 factory peep sights are hard to find. Never seen an original reimported suppressed with a Parker Hale scope. Its on my list though😀

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